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Everything posted by syzygy8

  1. I have yet to find the Whole Foods where the person behind the cheese counter knows enough about the cheese they're selling. Even a question like "was this made with pasteurized milk?" can be a challenge and they have to run and look it up in the binder, or when I ask for a recommendation on something, their suggestions are so pedestrian that it seems they have no confidence in their customer to eat something "real" or no confidence in themselves to sell it. I've only been to Wegman's counter once, and it was the end of the day so I didn't completely fault the counterfolks there. I'll have to try them again. There's a woman at D&D (whose name I can't recall) who does a kickass job and really knows her stuff. In fact several of the folks there will test your tastebuds with some quality cheeses. Same thing at Arrowine.
  2. The folks at Eastern Market cut to order also, but I've never been thrilled with their selection. Only the older guy there seems to have some level of appropriate knowledge for the trade he's in, but frankly, I've found him so surly that I've never been able to see his knowledge in action.
  3. I saw that website before. Thanks for letting me know it works. Now did you order from the French site or the US-legal site? I wonder if they would send "the good stuff" if you ordered from the French site for US delivery and not from the specialized US site.
  4. When Jenkins spoke in DC earlier this month he had praise for D&D (naturally) and said aside from there, he recommended Whole Foods. I don't know if he made the Whole Foods recommendation because he believes it, or simply because he knows that there's NOWHERE else to buy cheese around here. Everything else (inc. Sutton Place) is crap in his eye. I've done okay with cheeses at Arrowine in Arlington, but I've only bought there once or twice.
  5. This actually sounds like it could be a fun job! I wonder if the post is open!
  6. I went. The movie wasn't as great as some of the reviews in the Post made it seem like it would be. Frankly, I had very little interest in whether the folks looking to open the restaurant would succeed. I didn't find them very likeable. I did enjoy, however, listening to the thoughts of Ruth Reichl, Drew Neiporent and particularly, Sirio Maccioni, who is an absolute rip. Jose talked a little bit about how to find good help, the importance of partnerships like he has with Roberto Alvarez and Rob Wilder, the differences in the restaurant scene between here and NYC (we have less numbers of restaurants here, but good variety with some high quality examples in each category, so he says), and he talked about the new restaurants slated for Crystal City this fall. Afterwards we got some tastes, which I think are items he serves at minibar. (I'm only guessing at this having not been to minibar (yet) but have read about it here). Foie gras cotton candy, saffron gumdrops, etc. But nothing could be worse than the guy in the last row of the theater who had to read outloud every time some kind of text showed up on the screen. That and he had to keep loudly making comments about many of the NYC restaurants that were shown in the film, as if he's the expert on NYC restaurants and none of us had ever been to the city before...let alone lived there. I think Ann Cashion is doing the "post-movie Q&A" at a screening sometime this week.
  7. Try their fresh pizza dough. Set it out before you go to work in the morning. Then fire up a pizza stone and make it when you get home in the evening. Toss on some homemade sauce and some of the cheesy & meaty treats from Vace and you're all set.
  8. Thanks for the report. He had noted in his book the changing nature of supermarkets. I think he's absolutely right about that. What a pain in the ass it was to have to go crosstown for an essential "speciality" ingredient for anyone who wanted to cook something besides meat loaf or fish stix.
  9. Any particular location or all of them?
  10. I enjoyed his book. I think Ruth Reichl's stuff was more entertaining, but Pepin's was a worthy read.
  11. The Sammy White Ale went down mighty good yesterday afternoon at a rooftop bar in Georgetown, here in DC. Hottest day of the year so far (87 degrees) and they were very refreshing drafts after a long day outdoors.
  12. Never been to Palena before, but have wanted to try it. It just so happens I need to run an errand in the neighborhood in a little while and was thinking of dropping by for the bar menu. Only problem is, I'm dressed "casual Friday" in blue jeans. Is that acceptable attire there? What about for Lavandou? That's another place I've wanted to try but haven't done yet.
  13. I third that suggestion. It's 20 minutes with no transfers necessary on the yellow line from King Street to Gallery Place. Once there you've got within several blocks quality French, Italian, Spanish, Mexican, Chinese, Burmese, Thai, "pan-eastern Mediterranean" wood-fired pizzas and Texas BBQ. Not one of them a chain restaurant, beyond local.
  14. It's now been over six months since I first posted the question asking for thoughts on Andale. I finally went there for the first time last month and I was very impressed. I completely agree about the ceviche, and I'll have to try it with the mezcal next time. So far I've stuck to the Don Julio tequilas. The queso fundido was also mighty tasty, but I had to have it without the chorizo, as Mrs. syzygy8 is a vegematarian. Even without yummy pork products, it was very good. The zicil-p'ak. Get it. Don't even think about it. What a wonderful collection of flavors. Smoky, fruity, herbal and a light amount of heat. It needed to be served with more tortillas though. The calamari was cooked perfectly, as in amazingly tender squid. I was less impressed, however, with its coating and the accompanying dip. Granted, it's about a zillion times better than your typical batter coated fried squid, but it didn't have my tastebuds dancing in the aisles like my other dining choices. Haven't tried the entrees yet, and am waiting to do so on a Monday with the half-price wines. After all, I'm just a whining hipster/foodie who doesn't get his way.
  15. syzygy8

    The 22oz bottle of beer

    I used to use 22s when I brewed and bottled my own.
  16. I've had theirs. It never gets delivered hot, though. I always have to reheat it on my stone in the oven...and honestly, that makes it taste even better.
  17. Good suggestion. Litteri's is a gem of a place in a sketchy neighborhood, and the prices are very reasonable. Good spot to stock up on olive oils, vinegars, pasta. I'm going to be happy when the New York Ave station opens on the Red Line. Should make it more convenient to get here for those of us who prefer not to drive if they don't have to.
  18. Well, Finn MacCools was okay. On the positive side: Beamish on tap and Newcastle on the beer engine. The Newcastle was served cold and not "cellar temperature" but it didn't take too long to warm up when holding the pint glass. I'd love to find out more about how they keep it. This was only the second time I've had a "major name" English beer served from the cask rather than the traditional bottle. The first time was Bass Ale and that was served to me in England. Night and day difference between the bottle and cask. (I don't think I need to mention which was better) but the cask Newcastle at FM was not tremendously different from what I'd find poured from a bottle. Less carbonated, clearly, but it tasted kinda dead. I'll have to inquire more about it when I'm there next. Also on the plus side: the crowd. It was really a great mix of age, activity, ethnicity, etc. This place definitely is not one to be labeled "college bar" or "Hill crowd." The floor wait service was attentive and while they may not be perfect, they exceeded the expectations that I had for a group of young people working a crowded floor and doling out fish and chips. More so than the bartenders who really didn't seem pleased to be working or to have you in their bar. On the negative side: aside from the bartenders attitudes, it's not a particularly attractive place. On the one hand, I'm glad they didn't smother it in false Irish kitsch, but it's just too plain. I wanted my eyes to be able to fix on something from time to time. As for the food: The fish and chips were a 5 on a 1 to 10 scale. I'd have liked a smaller, but fatter fillet that had a crisper batter and juicier meat. But I get the feeling that fish and chips is one of those dishes that probably really makes a big difference depending on who's making it that particular day. I'd go back though. But not until I've tried the Flying Scotsman first.
  19. I haven't asked for it there, but I'd be very surprised if they didn't have any available at Vace on Conn. Ave. in Cleveland Park.
  20. I anxiously await 5 o'clock!!!!
  21. Theakston? Theakston! With a name like Theakston I'm going to listen to any beer advice you have. I'm just back from my annual pilgrimage to Masham and the Dales and downed enough Theakstons, Black Sheep and Riggwelter to hopefully make it until next February/March. What's your tie to Yorkshire? Great list you've left. I haven't tried Harvard's yet, but will have to. I'm also told Finn MacCools at Eastern Market is now serving Newcastle by pump. I'm going there this evening and will report back if it's worth it. I won't go see Michael Jackson at RFD or Brickskeller. I won't actually pay to attend anything at either of those places because then I'm OBLIGATED to put up with their crap service. I am, however, going to see him discuss the single malts at National Geographic, which will hopefully match the fun of Great Beers of England and Ireland a few years ago.
  22. I really think the folks at RFD (and Brickskeller) are creepy. Yeah, they've put together a hell of a beer collection, but their service is some of the worst in this city. I'd rather go to a bar that serves only Bud and Bud Lite (and drink a cocktail!) that has quality service. RFD had been the place to go when I was really jonesing for a real ale, or the closest facsimile. And when I showed up on Friday and couldn't have it with THREE kegs in the fridge...... Ella's has bottles of Menabrea. The "velvet" selection at the Chophouse is always good too. Who needs RFD?
  23. Lots of GREAT beer. Pitiful service. I went in to RFD on Friday PM after work. No cask ales available at all. I was very surprised by that. They clearly had a keg of Heather Ale ready for what looked like a gravity pour and two other kegs in that cooler. But if they weren't going to tap it by 6:30PM on a Friday, when would they? Does anyone know if anyone else serves any real ales in the DC area?
  24. syzygy8

    Spainish Cider

    My understanding is that the sidra is more traditional in Asturias, a bit west of the Basque Country. Not 100% sure on that though. Am recently back from Madrid where the most enjoyable sidreria was Bar Neru. Drink the stuff down fast when it's served to you as all the air that gets incorporated through the long pour and the slam into the glass supposedly activates it.
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